Greeley Hospital in Greeley, Colo.

Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo.

UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation was awarded a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with support from the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management that will provide for additional, two-way radios for two UCHealth hospitals. Existing communication systems at UCHealth Greeley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies will be expanded to widen the number of staff who have access to handheld radio devices while at work.

Used in the event of a hospital emergency, UCHealth’s radio communication system improves the flow of clear, timely communication, increases information accuracy, and enables leadership to quickly account for patients, visitors, and staff as needed.

“In emergencies, immediate access to accurate communication is life-changing,” said UCHealth Director of Emergency Preparedness, Thomas Buettner. “These additional radios will allow our staff to act quickly, respond accordingly, and ensure the safety of our UCHealth patients, staff, and visitors.”

Radios will be assigned to pre-identified, strategic locations throughout the hospitals for immediate access by staff and will utilize existing digitally encrypted systems. During scheduled, emergency exercises, staff will be evaluated on their use of the radios and specific metrics will be tracked to assess how the emergency communication via radios was acted upon. After-action reports and improvement planning will be adjusted based on reported information during these exercises.

Buettner added, “The quicker our staff is alerted with accurate information, the better quality of care and assistance we can provide.”

The UCHealth Northern Regional Emergency Preparedness Team will support the execution and oversight of this project. This team of dedicated professionals ensures the safety of northern Colorado UCHealth hospitals and clinics through services such as:

  • Severe weather alerts
  • Personal preparedness
  • Fire emergency drills
  • Hazardous material spill management
  • Restricted access plans
  • Emergency communications